Moving Yet Again

We are moving yet again to the great state of TEXAS! I LOVE Miami and will miss all the amazing things that south Florida has to offer, but I'm excited that this next move is permanent. I'll be building a home there, as opposed to being a nomad. Hopefully I'll have more to blog about too! It's hard settling into a home with sea foam green and orange walls (Go Dolphins?). I'm looking forward to actually getting to be creative in my space. Stay tuned!


I'm a Really Bad Blogger

I don't know why I continue to barely maintain this blog. I think it would be so fun to have a blog of all the little things that make me smile in my life. Maybe it's make-up, jewelry, my sweet puppy, whatever. But sometimes the business of life tends to get in the way. We'll see what happens.


Homemade Artisan Bread that Doesn't Suck

I love bread. I could eat a nice loaf of french bread in a sitting (my waistline doesn't appreciate it). And while we had a great place to get great bread in Charlottesville called Albemarle Baking Company that didn't use any corn ingredients, we have yet to find a place like that here.

In fact, it's been a challenge finding bread at all. The ONLY bread at Whole Foods that didn't have a corn ingredient was in the freezer section, which meant we wouldn't have that soft, fluffy bread.

And then they stopped carrying it last week.

What were we supposed to do without bread? What would Ryan eat for breakfast? What would be a quick and easy lunch substitute for sandwiches? What would we take with us to eat with cheese and fruit on the beach?

I'm a pretty good baker, but we've never tried making THAT kind of bread. I make a mean pumpkin bread, but french bread? Sandwich bread?

So we spent a good part of our free time this week making bread. We tried making baguettes from the recipe on the King Arthur bread. They turned out... hard. We tried making soda bread. That turned out gross. And then I tried a recipe for rosemary, lemon, garlic bread that I found online.

For the record, I would NOT suggest putting lemon in this bread. But the bread part turned out WONDERFUL. I was shocked. I never ever thought I could so easily make bread like this at home. It's no Albemarle Baking Company, but it's just as good as any french bread you get at a regular store.

I tried it again yesterday without the lemon, garlic, and rosemary and it was even better!

The directions are simple:

Combine 3 cups bread flower, 1 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp yeast, and 1 1/2 cups water in a standing mixer with the bread hook attached. Mix until combined.

Cover bowl with a damp paper towel and leave overnight. The original recipe said to leave it 12-18 hours, but I left mine for 13 hours since it's so hot and humid here.

About 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450. Place a dutch oven in the oven for 30 minutes to heat up. Then pull it out, scoop the dough in, put the lid back on, and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pull the lid off and continue baking for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes are up, pull it out of the oven and put it in a rack to cool. Then you're done! SO EASY.



Stella & Dot

My husband spoils me.

So the other day when I casually mentioned I wanted a chunky gold bracelet because people down here are serious about jewelry, he decided to get it for me.

See the cute packaging?

It's the first Stella & Dot piece I've gotten, and I really love the sparkles and how it can be worn whenever.


My first Glossybox (and why I cancelled my Birchbox)

This month I cancelled my BirchBox. I just felt like I wasn't getting great products. Every month I'd see blogs about these people getting amazing things, and I'd change my beauty preferences, and every month I felt like my things weren't as good. I held on so long because I figured $10 wasn't so bad and every month I got one thing that I LOVED.

But I had kind of a bad experience with their customer service this month and just kind of felt like that was the last straw.

So I joined Glossybox. And I got my first one today. And I LOVE it.

Inside my Glossybox was:

Pedix Heel Rescue Balm

Color Ignite Multi Tone Shampoo

Color Ignite Multi Tone Conditioner

Lip, Face & Body Balm

Mineral Eye Shadow trio

Blushed fragrance towelette

So far, I've tied the Heel Rescue Balm and the Lip, Face & Body Balm.

The heel balm is great because my feet are being destroyed. All the walking the dog in my sandals in the heat is ruining my feet. It smells a little minty and while I've only used it a few days, it works great. Another foot cream I like is the one AHAVA puts out, and this one is about the same price and smells better.

The Lip, Face & Body Balm I've only used on my lips. It's corn free and completely organic so I can use it and kiss HB. It's nothing special - just lip balm, and a little unsolid for me, but I love the whole not-corn thing.

Also, you can smell the frangrance towelette from outside the container. I don't know why vanilla is such a popular scent right now, but this also smells like Aria hotel. It does smell a little bit better than some of the BirchBox perfumes I've smelled. I'm curious about how a towelette would work... would it be too much fragrance?

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the box. The only thing I don't think I will use is the eye shadow, but we'll see. It may just be too hot during the summer down here to wear it, but I might be happy to have it in winter.


Separation Between Work and Home

I have trouble separating my work and home life, and I think most people can understand the feeling. It's gotten worse since I started working from home. How do you end the work day when there is still work to be done and you don't have to leave because the office closes. I can just do some in the evening, or do some while HB cooks.. Just checking my email turns into spending an hour updating and completing tasks. I was supposed to work in my office, which would have meant I could shut the door at the end of the day, but since I have the puppy, and she isn't allowed in the office, we sit in the living room all day, where I should be relaxing AFTER work.

When I was watching The Office the other night, I saw this.

I LOVE the idea of having an end-of-the-day ritual that helps me separate my time between work and home life. I have a start of the date ritual (reading Yahoo News), so I need to think of an end of the day one. Maybe a song I sing, a walk with the puppy, a video I watch, reading a chapter of a book, a special cocktail (or mocktail if I'm going out later) that I indulge in. I'll have to think of the best way to separate the two, and it will most definitely involve turning off the computer :).


Leaving Cville: No Regrets

Sometimes when you leave a place, break up with someone, stop doing an activity, you tend to have better memories of that thing than there actually were. It's why people get back together with their exes so often (and break up with them again).


Last week I went back to Charlottesville for work. And I instantly remembered all things I DIDN'T like about it. Granted, there are things I miss. You can be in wide open spaces in a matter of minutes. There are hip eateries all over. The people are really into living there. But I wasn't one of those people, so I'm glad I left.

That being said I did have a lovely trip there. I got to see some friends, eat at Citizen Burger (their vegan burger is made with quinoa and red beets - I'm going to try to replicate that at home), and goof around with my coworkers. All in all, a successful trip.